#DailyDevotion Jesus Is God’s Son and Israel’s King
John 147Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him. “Here’s a true Israelite in whom there is no deceit,” He said of him. 48“Where did You get to know me?” Nathanael asked Him. “Before Philip called you,” Jesus answered him, “when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49“Master,” Nathanael answered Him, “You are God’s Son! You are Israel’s King!” 50“You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree,” Jesus answered him. 51“You will see greater things than that.” And He said to him, “I tell you people the truth, You will see heaven opened and God’s angels going up and coming down on the Son of Man.”
We are in the season of Epiphany. Epiphany is to make manifest. In this season, Jesus is being made manifest to be the LORD, God and King of Israel in the flesh.
In this early account of Jesus’ ministry he reveals himself to Nathaniel, whom he will call to be one of his apostles. Nathaniel didn’t think anything good could come from Nazareth where Jesus grew up. Jesus was about to show him otherwise. When Jesus sees Nathaniel he says, “Here’s a true Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” What does this mean? It means he has no filter. Nathaniel is one of those people who says what is on his heart and mind. Which is why he told Philip, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” He sees Jesus clearly knows him and his personality. He asked Jesus, “Where did You get to know me?”
Jesus lets him know that he saw him under the fig tree before Philip called him. Jesus has made himself manifest to Nathaniel. Who can do this? Nathaniel replies, 49“MasterYou are God’s Son! You are Israel’s King!” He perceives Jesus is indeed supernatural. He is the Prophet whom Moses foretold. By the Holy Spirit, Nathaniel makes this proclamation. Jesus is God’s Son. He is the begotten of the Father from all creation. As John writes in his Gospel, “IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In the Old Testament, God told David that his seed, a descendent, would rule forever and the LORD would be his Father. This told us that the LORD himself, i.e. the LORD who is the Word of the LORD, would take on human flesh and be a descendent of David. Jesus is that descendent.
Now also, Nathaniel calls Jesus “Israel’s King.” Now before Saul, the LORD, Yahweh, was Israel’s king. Indeed, throughout the Old Testament, the LORD makes it clear that He is Israel’s true king. The sons of David are merely king in the LORD’s place. But the LORD intends to be Israel’s King and be King through David’s seed. Jesus is indeed Israel’s King from the beginning. Jesus is Israel’s LORD and King now in the flesh.
When Pilate presents Jesus and puts the charges of his execution on the cross, he calls Jesus the King of the Jews. It is somewhat ironic because that is exactly who he is. When the Jewish leadership rejects Jesus and says, “We have no king but Caesar” they are rejecting the LORD as their King even as they did when they pined for Saul and rejected the LORD as their King. But their rejection is our salvation. Because they rejected Jesus, Jesus was crucified. His crucifixion obtained forgiveness of sins and salvation for the world. He now is ruling at the right hand of the Father as King of the Universe, of all Creation.
Heavenly Father, you sent your Son Jesus Christ into the flesh to be our King and our Salvation. Grant us faith to believe Jesus is your Son and our King so we may live in his kingdom for all eternity. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.